In the conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s steampunk World War I series, the Leviathan is sent to pick up a mysterious inventor who plans to stop the war with his latest device (Goliath), and Deryn’s secret is finally revealed. Once the Leviathan has transported the inventor to America, Alek meets Eddie Malone, a reporter for The New York World, and the Prince’s story and secrets are finally revealed to the world. I really couldn’t put this book down, wanting to know what was to become of Alek and Deryn, and how their relationship would develop. The book’s many plot twists, cliffhangers, and near-disasters build momentum until Alek must make his final decision: his title as emperor, or Deryn. I think this series will please fans of adventure, action, steampunk, and historical fiction and is sure to make a lasting impression.
Leviathan, the English Darwinists’ fabricated living airship, is on its way to Istanbul to deliver one of the mysterious Dr. Nora Darwin Barlow’s fabricated eggs when it attacks two Clanker warships and is damaged by a powerful Tesla Cannon. Alek and his men are put under scrutiny and he eventually decides to escape. He does so semi-successfully but only after one of the strange beasties hatches and bonds with him. Deryn, still disguised as Dylan, is given a secret mission to destroy kraken nets in order to allow a new beast, the Behemoth, to destroy the Clanker ships and capture the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Meanwhile, in the in the bustling city of Istanbul Alek becomes entangled in a revolution that may just turn the tide of the war in his favor. Because this book is filled with amazing character development and brilliant illustrations, I greatly enjoyed reading it. This is an alternate reality Steampunk World War I novel that will capture your attention for hours on end. Scott Westerfeld develops both the plot and the characters very well, and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an adventurous read.
Specials is the third book in the Uglies series and fails to disappoint. Tally has recently been turned into a Special. Special Circumstances is the frighteningly beautiful authority of the region. Even though Tally has had many encounters with the Specials, she never dreamed of being one. As a Special, she feels almost nothing: No pain, no emotion. Everything is unnaturally clear. Everyone in the authority can detect a lie in a matter of seconds. Although Tally thinks she is content with her newest lifestyle and group, the Cutters, she often feels a pang inside of her, missing and remembering her rebel days. Later, the Specials find the New Smoke – a place where the Uglies hide. Orders are given for the Cutters to destroy this sanctuary. Tally again needs to choose between listening to the small voice inside of her or ignore it and carry out orders. Tally’s decision is unexpected and makes this a superb sci-fi read. – Stephanie S. ‘17
In Scott Westerfeld’s Pretties, Tally’s dream has finally come true, and she is now a stunning Pretty. All of her imperfections have been fixed and she has rejoined her old friends in New Pretty Town. Tally has a loyal boyfriend, an exciting group of friends, and an invitation to all the hottest parties — everything she ever hoped of having. Her fun suddenly stops when she receives a letter from herself, which was written back when she was an Ugly. She slowly starts to remember why she had doubts about life as a Pretty, and is forced to decide: Dismiss the truth, or fight the city’s authorities. Her choice could possibly be deadly. Pretties is must-read. – Stephanie S. ‘17
Uglies opens with Tally Youngblood waiting for her sixteenth birthday. She is waiting for her operation to take place, which will make her a pretty. Tally is the youngest of her friends and is alone in Uglyville, since all of them have moved to New Pretty Town. She is ecstatic to move and rejoin her clique. Once every child reaches the age of sixteen, a surgery is performed to make them look absolutely perfect, but Tally soon finds out physical enhancement is not all that happens. Her new friend, Shay wants Tally to run away with her and stay ugly. Shay ends up running away, but Tally decides against it. The city authority, Special Circumstances, force her to to make one of the hardest decisions of her life: Rat out her best friend and find the runaway Uglies, or never have the operation and stay ugly for eternity. I would recommend this futuristic story to a reader of any age. – Stephanie S. ’17
Set in an alternate universe World War I where Clankers and Darwinists battle it out using giant walking machines and fabricated creatures, respectively, Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s orphaned son Alek must flee Austria-Hungary, with both Germans and Darwinists on his trail. On the other side of the continent, Deryn Sharp, a Scottish girl who longs to fly on the airship Leviathan, disguises herself as a boy and enlists in the British Royal Air Service. When the Leviathan crash-lands near Alek’s hideout in the mountains of Switzerland, Alek and Deryn are forced to work together to save themselves and their crews. Leviathan is an amazing start to the eponymous trilogy, with ample character development for both protagonists, a plot that interweaves fantastical elements and historical events, and intricate illustrations by Keith Thompson. Fans of historical fiction and steampunk will be delighted by the incredible, epic world of Leviathan. – Cynthia H. ’16